Meaty, nutty splendor, but I gotta be honest: probably my least-favorite Suscol Merlot I’ve had from these people. Of course, that’s an 8/10’s sort of equation, as even here–as I find faults with it–it heralds among the finest available in Napa Valley. Incredibly young for starters, but there’s balance issues involved I can’t get totally behind. It feels a bit hot: peppery splendor over-riding what is typically lavish fruit. It’s not particularly hi-alc though, the cherry a distinct pie-sort: ratchety with anguish and sullied with vegetal. I keep asking myself: Is this Pomerol? Is it merely suffering from early exuberance? Is everything here? Am I merely applying short-sighted California expectations to a wine destined for 20-year greatness? Give them a few more years to bring the sort of elegance we expect. Or will they?
2018 NICKEL & NICKEL Merlot Suscol Ranch Napa Valley 14.3